Tuesday, 18th January 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Confusion as Zambian referee ends Mali vs Tunisia game before time

By Gowon Akpodonor, Cameroun
13 January 2022   |   2:41 am
Players, officials and fans at the stadium to watch a Group F match between Mali and Tunisia were treated to a bizarre officiating by Zambia’s Janny Sikazwe, who marred what was otherwise

Tunisians protest bizarre officiating

Players, officials and fans at the stadium to watch a Group F match between Mali and Tunisia were treated to a bizarre officiating by Zambia’s Janny Sikazwe, who marred what was otherwise an interesting encounter.

The referee twice stopped the game prematurely and restarted it when he was informed that he ended the encounter before time.

First, he seemed to blow three times to end the game just 85 minutes into the match, it restarted and he sent off Mali’s El Bilal Toure.

The referee then blew the final whistle at the 89th minute, a minute early and with obviously no stoppages either, despite red cards, VAR reviews and penalties.

Over 20 minutes after the game had finished amid furious scenes, the Mali coach was interrupted during his press conference to be told that the team had to come back out and play the rest of the match.

Mali did emerge, with kits back on, but Tunisia refused to take part in the farce, so the game was called off again.

The coaching staff and bench of the ‘Aigles de Carthage’ stormed the pitch in protest, totally outraged by what they had just witnessed.

Yet they were initially forced to accept defeat in their Group F opener as the players left the field. Most also conducted their media duties.

There was then some confusion as to what would happen next as talks resumed between all parties by the side of the pitch.

A small number of Mali supporters had remained inside the stadium and continued to blow vuvuzelas as they waited for an outcome.

The rest of the stadium had already emptied with most fans of the opinion that the match was over.